ATLANTA — After getting shot six times, Atlanta Police Officer David Rodgers has a long road to recovery and is still hospitalized, the agency said in a news release Wednesday.
Rodgers was shot six times Monday, including once to the backside of his head, records show. He was initially being treated at Grady Hospital's trauma center and is still hospitalized, according to the Atlanta Police Department's latest update. On Monday authorities said Rodgers was stable but badly hurt.
Arrest warrants said a member of the Young Slime Life street gang, identified by officers as Christian Eppinger was the one who allegedly fired the violent shots.
Undercover officers were watching Eppinger earlier this week by Old Hapeville Road and called for uniformed police and marked patrol vehicles for assistance, warrants show. As officers arrived demanding Eppinger get on the ground, a shootout between authorities and the 22-year-old occurred as he tried to flee, according to warrants.
After firing shots at the arresting officer, Eppinger took off to a nearby apartment unit where he was taken into custody, records show. He's facing attempted murder and criminal street gang activity charges.
"The Atlanta Police department will not be deterred, this today only reinforces why we took the oath and why we're here, so every gang member should know that if you're committing crimes in this city we're going to come and we're going to arrest you," APD Deputy Chief Darin Schierbaum said in a news conference on Monday.
Schierbaum added that the shooting of officer Rodgers has reignited the department's motivation to make Atlanta a safer place to live, especially as Rodgers tried to make that goal a reality.
"The Atlanta Police Department would like to thank those of you who have kept Officer David Rodgers in mind during this difficult time. Officer Rodgers, his family and The Atlanta Police Department are thankful for the thoughts and prayers that you all have provided, and we hope that these well wishes aid him in his recovery," the department said in a statement.
Some of his colleagues in APD's Gang Unit started an online fundraiser to help with pay for hospital expenses.
"This is a time we come together in support of Officer D. Rodgers who notably takes pride in his profession day in and day out. He not only serves and protects his community, but he cares about the quality of work he displays. Let's show him the same love and support," the fundraiser reads.
The fundraising goal is set at $200,000. As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly $17,000 has been raised.